In his last year of office, House Financial Services Chair Patrick McHenry has no intention of taking it easy.
In an interview on Friday, the Republican from North Carolina laid out a number of significant legislative and oversight goals that he intends to pursue over the coming months as he faces a narrow window of opportunity to establish his legacy. After twenty years in office, McHenry intends to resign at the conclusion of his term.
Legislation pertaining to capital formation, data privacy, and cryptocurrencies is McHenry’s top priority.
He stated that he is collaborating with House leadership to schedule floor time for historic cryptocurrency bills that would restructure the SEC and CFTC’s authority over digital assets and create a new legal framework for stablecoins.
“Politics” is McHenry’s biggest obstacle with the crypto bills. He claimed that consumers are suffering as a result of Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who have resisted his ideas.
“All that needs to happen is for legislators to devote sufficient time and attention to understanding the benefits of market structure, definitions, and fully empowered regulators for capital formation and consumer protection,” the speaker stated. We require more widespread participation. Education presents a big obstacle for some of these policies, such as those pertaining to digital assets and China.
Recent Treasury Department recommendations to strengthen crypto anti-money laundering regulations, according to McHenry, are “problematic.”
He clarified, “But they’re demonstrating that congressional action is required to bring clarity here.” “I appreciate that, and I appreciate the discussion about the right strategy and a well-rounded strategy.”
Furthermore, by the end of the first quarter, McHenry hopes to have a compromise on how to control capital flows to China in collaboration with Select Committee on the CCP Chair Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) and Foreign Affairs Chair Michael McCaul (R-Texas).
Legislation that would limit US investment in specific areas of China’s economy, such as artificial intelligence and quantum computing, is supported by McCaul and his allies. Instead, McHenry wants to employ sanctions unique to his company.
Declared his opposition to McCaul’s bill.
He called it “a deeply flawed approach that limits American business and has no real impact against China.”
McHenry is outnumbered, according to Republicans on the opposing side, who are pushing for limits on foreign investment into China. He’s not giving up, though.
“They believed they could humiliate me and publish negative things about me in the media, and I would give in,” he stated. “Their policy isn’t good or effective just because they can say nasty things.”
What Financial Services will do next
In the first quarter, McHenry intends to set up a number of additional legislative and oversight goals. “Rogue regulators” will be the subject of January’s work, “holding bad actors accountable” will be the focus of February, and American competitiveness will be the focus of March.
“We’re going to start with a focus on rogue regulators from this administration: the Securities and Exchange Commission’s regulatory agenda, the Basel Endgame, the capital rule, and the climate rulemaking.”
Subsequently, AML-BSA regulations and China’s misuse of the global financial system will be closely monitored. Thus, there is a great deal of attention on OFAC and FinCEN, as well as how we implement economic statecraft, enforce sanctions, and guard against domestic money laundering.
After that, we want to change course and focus on improving our competitiveness. This also includes the Basel Endgame, government rulemaking, and our efforts to improve the economy through policy.
Although legislation, including sanctions and anti-money laundering regulations, is also planned, the “opening act” will place a strong focus on oversight.
Why this time?
In response to a question about his retirement, McHenry said it had been a “helluva ride” and a “key year in my service in Congress,” following his pivotal role in the election of the speaker and his brief stint in that position. He also brought up the GOP committee term limits, pointing out that without a waiver, he would not be able to continue as the top Republican on the Financial Services committee after 2024.
“Term limits for Republicans have an impact and are important; they benefit the Republican conference and the institution,” he declared. “There is a net gain. I was aware going in that was the deal in my situation.
“I have nothing but respect for the institution,” he continued.
What he plans to do once he leaves office
“I’m curious to see what’s out there and open to what comes next,” he remarked. But I knew that before choosing the next chapter, I had to decide and close this one.